Indie Rock Bus Review: The search for the new continues, and on this short bus journey I was not going to be enlightened. I heard two very freah out the box good tracks, but I didn’t hear anything that I would call groundbreaking. First up was a very early outing for a track from the new Flaming Lips album. I say a track, but it has single written all over it. Indeed it could quite easily become the most annoying single of the year by a long shot. I like The Flaming Lips. I like the sweeping strings, clattery drums and very full production of Dave Fridmann. But its amazing how a few Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips albums down the line this production already feels so old hat.

So to ‘Do You Realise’ – this exceptionally good new Flaming Lips track. Stripped from much of their whimsy, what is left is the Neil Young lite voice and the Fridmann production – sans kitchen sink merely because you can’t get a kitchen sink to make a decent noise. There is a good tune and sweet repetition of the motif: ‘Do You Realise’. How beautiful you are?’ So far so rock standard. ‘Do you realise how pretty your face is?’ Fine. ‘Do you realise that everyone you know will one day die?’ Follow this up with some upbeat philosophy regarding living ones beautiful, pretty but finite life to the full coupled with a great hook and we have a bona-fide lighters in the air number. This track could give the Flaming Lips a top ten hit and break them big time. And the advice will grate like that of Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen. Freaky Trigger will probably take a positive line in the end – merely because the album is called ‘Ochigo vs The Pink Robots’ – which is as closest we are going to get to an album called Robots vs Dinosaurs! FITE!

Still if there is nothing new in what the Flaming Lips are peddling, at least the sound is only five years old. The Music – what appears to be a twelve year old Leeds band being shaped for next big thingness are giving us something thirty years old. They are giving us Led Zepplin refracted through a Stone Roses prism. Which to all intents and purposes means the okay stuff on The Second Coming. The People (the name of the track name from these lovers of the definite article) manages to sound like a good Second Coming track with a slightly harder edge and even less lyrics than Brown got round to writing. Half a verse and a chorus or two of La La’s and Whoa Whoa’s does not bode all that well – but at least the young singer is erring more on the side of Robert Plant histrionics than bored Brown. The single does sound great – but are we just back in Oasis territory with a new bunch of youngsters reverently treading in the footsteps of yesterdays greats.

The Music were avidly chased by Tony Wilson for Factory 2 a couple of years ago and ended up on a major (not that Fac 2 isn’t) for stupid amounts of money. Wilson says they have the look, the swagger and have already been utterly ruined by their current deal (Wilson however would say that). On the strength of The People they at least some music to keep them going. They don’t have any lyrics though – and basing your career on one of the most disappointing albums ever released seems a touch foolish. Still its one single, like the Flaming Lips had one track and it was a very short bus ride. On the strength of this five stop trip – rock music is still not the place to be looking for innovation. Mind you – nor is a bus ride at eleven at night.